The Moore County Land Use Steering Committee held their Feb. 25 meeting at 6:00 P.M. at the Senior Enrichment Center on US-15/501. There are only two more meetings to go. The Committee is nearing its conclusions -- more on that in a moment.
The agenda for this meeting may be found here. First on the agenda was a panel discussion to answer questions and provide input for the Committee. The panel included Caleb Miles, President and CEO of the Pinehurst-Southern Pines-Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau; John Burns, First Bank; Densel Williams, Moore County Homebuilders Association; Patrick Coughlin, Moore County Chamber of Commerce; and Matt West, Founder & CEO of Intangibles, LLC.
Moore County citizens should be very interested in what these folks had to say about the economy, growth prospects, and future of Moore County. You may view the video of the panel session below; it is about one hour in duration. But again, I think you'll find the session to be very interesting.
Next, the Committee broke into three groups, each of which reviewed and discussed assigned sections of the current draft of the Land Use Plan. First, a word about the current draft: It does not yet include any plans or goals. All content is currently "background content" which is being considered and used by the Committee to formulate the "meat" of the report -- i.e. the goals, proposals, and policies. Currently, those "placeholder" pages are located in the back of the document. I have suggested that the actual report pages be placed at the front of the document with all of the background pages organized into appendices that can be referenced in the actual Committee Report. Hopefully this will be done so that a reader does not have to wade through reams of statistics, data, and historical facts to find the Committee's recommendations.
The two groups other than the one to which I was assigned followed directions and stuck to the assigned task. The group in which I found myself first bogged down in listing other detailed data which they wanted to add -- information which was, in my opinion far too detailed and pertained to subjects and matters which can not and should not be addressed by the Land Use Steering Committee (such as counting the number of home schooled children in Moore County -- the reason cited was to help plan how many schools would be needed and where those schools should be built. I believe this is the job of the School Board with Board of Commissioners oversight -- NOT the job of the Land Use Steering Committee.)
Eventually, the group shifted its attention to writing potential goals and recommendations -- deviating from the instructions given by the Chair and Moderator. Worse, in the discussions and wording of these potential goals and recommendations, the content, language, and concepts were straight out of the Agenda for the 21st Century (Agenda 21). These folks have all drunk the green kool-aid and have accepted the ideology of Agenda 21 proponents completely.
They are ready to push for high density development, in the townships, with all facilities within walking distance of the dwelling apartment. Bike trails and greenways to be managed and maintained by the government with land "donated" by developers in order to obtain necessary permits. Bikeways linked and running throughout the county with nodes of government-run parks and "green spaces". "Public-private partnerships" between local governments and local businesses to accomplish and implement the vision and goals. More "protection" and regulation of habitats, watersheds, open spaces, and other "sustainable" "assets". More consideration of "natural resources" in the planning and permitting of development.
I began to suspect that I had somehow been assigned to a United Nations ICLEI committee. The discussions seemed to come right out of the U.N. document.
There were no audience members at this meeting. No citizens are coming to hear and observe. No one is coming to provide input and to make sure this group does not go off in the wrong direction. The makeup of the group is diverse, but all are the usual movers, shakers and activists. I readily admit that I have biases, but I'm not a voting member.
There are only two more meetings. The final preparation of this document is going to go down really fast according to the Chairman's intentions. If you want to have your say, or at least be knowledgeable to object or support -- you really must get involved in the next two meetings.